"The sound is straightforward—Love and Rockets’s own style of bluesy rock and roll."

Drivin’ N Cryin’ with Subject to Change @ Bar and Grill


A fine night for those of us who opted to skip All and hear a band not very well-known round these parts, “Drivin’ N Cryin’”? Never heard of them. 

Neither had I. But, with an ear to the ground you could probably hear this Georgia-based band a time zone away. Thump and wail, they did, and kudos to the Bar and Grill for booking them. Haven’t had this much fun since B.

Hard to place Drivin’ N Cryin’ in the old “they sound like a cross between…” bullshit for the simple reason that part of the time they sounded like a Kenworth missing an off ramp and hitting the sun, and part of the time they poured out like moonshine and heady, seductive melody. Energy and devoted talent are what this bad is all about.

(The rest of the time they didn’t sound anything like Blue Cheer).

Kevn Kinney is the band’s lyrical spirit—vocalist, and he plays a mean guitar. Kinney’s fine-textured voice held up through the heavy stuff and then drew the crowd in with a solo spot that included “Peacemaker,” a beautiful song from their latest album Mystery Road. Jeff Sullivan plays drums, dead center and heavy (bip-bop-BOOM! that was a fill, get it? Now, while I get on this back seat, shake your heads some moe and listen to the man sing). Tim Nielsen keeps the show on the ground with fine rootsy bass playing, back up vocals, and a few tricks on mandolin. Buren Fowler, lead and rhythm guitar, has only been with the band for a year, but it’s hard to imagine Drivin’ N Cryin’ without him. He’s a wizard and one helluva nice guy.

Drivin’ N Cryin’ recently toured with R.E.M. and they have gigged with The Georgia Satellites. But most of the crowd had never heard of them (probably because the East Coast has a nasty habit of being a couple of thousands of miles away) and we got much more than we expected. I guess we surprised them too and they said they were interested in coming back this way. Don’t miss it.

The band has four albums out now and Mystery Road is one of the best new albums I’ve heard this year. Besides that they were really cool—hanging out back, swilling beer and telling me a whole bunch of stuff that I promptly forgot. I sure hope they found the bass player after he left the party later that night. The guy on the phone was kind of worried, I heard.